The study of materials used in the built environment has long attracted significant research efforts, with a continuous growth over the last few decades. Mineralogy has been pivotal in these studies, spanning from the analysis of the different mineral components of both natural stone and earthen structures, and man-made plasters, mortars, cements, and ceramics (bricks), to their weathering and conservation. In this EJM special issue we strive to gather cutting-edge, high-quality research on all the different aspects where mineralogy plays a role in the analysis of the broad variety of materials used in the built environment, both ancient and modern. We seek studies with a focus on one or several of the following aspects:
- mineralogical analysis of natural and man-made building materials. In particular, studies on the analysis of mineral components of different building materials, as well as the phase evolution in cementitious materials (e.g., during processing and setting of lime mortars, gypsum plaster, or cement/concrete), as well as ceramics (e.g., phase evolution during firing of bricks);
- evaluation of mineralogical changes undergone by such building materials due to physical and chemical weathering, as well as biodeterioration. In particular, the mechanisms that lead to degradation involving phase transformation (dissolution and precipitation) and/or new formation (e.g., salt weathering), as well as clay-related damage (swelling and shrinking);
- mineralogical analysis of inorganic conservation materials, their application, and evaluation of their effectiveness.
These studies should focus on both traditional and novel materials used in the protection and conservation of the built heritage, including but not limited to lime-, silica-, oxalate-, and phosphate-based materials (e.g., nanolimes, alkoxysilanes, among others).